Over half of children under NHS Grampian missing mental health target

55 out of every 100 children referred to NHS Grampian for mental health treatment missed the Scottish Government’s 18-week waiting guarantee for psychological therapies, in the final quarter of 2016.

NHS Grampian’s performance is the worst in Scotland but figures show waiting times rising across the country. Only half of Scottish heath boards met the standard for children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in the final quarter of 2016.


ISD Scotland statistics also show that across Scotland just two NHS Boards met the 18-week referral to treatment standard for psychological therapies. Of those who started treatment in the quarter ending December 2016, almost a quarter – 2,500 patients - weren’t seen within 18 weeks.


North East MSP Mike Rumbles said: “This inept Scottish Government should be embarrassed by the appalling mental health figures released today. They have refused to deliver any meaningful change for mental health treatment in budget after budget and patients are now paying the price.


“Waiting times for adults are increasing, and 739 children have been forced to wait longer than the Scottish Government’s guarantee. In the North East the proportion of children missing waiting time targets have doubled since the beginning of 2015.


“These dreadful figures should come as no surprise to a government that allowed their mental health strategy to expire 15 months ago and have consistently reduced the share of the NHS budget spent in this area. The SNP are failing patients and failing the hard working staff working at the coal face.


“The Scottish Liberal Democrats argued for more resources for mental health during the budget negotiations this year, but our pleas feel upon deaf ears. Perhaps now the Scottish Government will start to take this issue seriously.”



Notes to editors:


  • The ISD statistics on both CAMHS and psychological therapies can be found at http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Waiting-Times/Publications/index.asp#1801
  • Across Scotland just 77.5% of patients referred for psychological therapies were seen within 18 weeks. However, the standard requires that 90% of patients are seen within 18 weeks.
  • Across Scotland just 82.5% of CAMHS patients were seen within 18 weeks, meaning the standard was not achieved for 739 children.
  • CAMHS performance in NHS Grampian (the worst performer in % terms) is as follows:
    • CAMHS waits in NHS Grampian
    • Quarter                                            Patients seen within 18 weeks (%)
    • January-March 2015                      73.6%
    • April-June 2015                              70.6%
    • July-September 2015                     53%
    • October-December 2015              49.6%
    • January-March 2016                      49.1%
    • April-June 2016                              41%
    • June-September 2016                   37.6%
    • October-December 2016              45.0%


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